Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fear: The Dream Stopper

"I don't want to get hurt again". "I'm scared 'cause I don't know them". "What if..., what about...".

Does this sound like you or someone you may know? Many of us do not know our true potential due to our fear of the unknown, our fear to step out on faith and see what the world holds for us. I can recall a moment in my life when I used to ALWAYS say I needed to know exactly what was going to happen. I made every attempt to plan due to my fears. Rather than making reasonable and logical plans, I often prohibited myself because I was scared. Someone close to me, who is well accomplished and very secure told me yesterday, "I'm scared to love and get in a relationship because I don't want to get hurt again. It's hard" (then she let out a resounding and high pitched, "ooohhhh-wwweeee")! Now, I can understand this thinking and I'm sure many of you can! I have been at that point in my life too, almost 3 years ago. But, when I did finally let go of my need to control, my fear, and lay my past to rest, I was able to love again AND be loved on a level I could never imagine.

But, here's the kicker for me. As I talked to a group of girls on yesterday regarding anger and forgiveness, one of them said she didn't want to travel (which is one of her dreams), because of her fear of being kidnapped and not knowing foreigners! At 11 years old, she is actually re-evaluating her life's dream, due to a fear that can happen right in her own neighborhood (kidnapping, strangers, etc). Her fear, and many of ours, has become a dream stopper! This hurt me because I thought to myself, what are we teaching our children? We tell them they can be anything they want to be and can do anything they want to do, but as they WATCH us restrict our own goals, they indirectly learn that fears can stop them; that they can be whatever they want to be with the exception of what they fear!

Ask yourself, what would've happened if Martin Luther King, Jr. would've given in to his fear? If Ghandi would've been stopped by fear? What if John McCain would've been stopped by fear when he was a POW? What if Barack Obama would've stopped his dream to potentially be the first African American President of the USA because of his fear? What if you would have never gotten back on your bicycle when you were little because of your fear of falling again? And my ultimate, what if Jesus would've never died to save man because of a fear? The point is, in order to do great things and reach our dreams and goals, we cannot give in to fear!

Have you ever heard the saying, "As a man thinketh, so is he", or "you are what you eat"? The basis is simple, we are only as good as what we think or do. Again, I counseled a 13 year old who told me one day, "I want to be a doctor...but that will never happen". When I asked her why it wouldn't happen, she had no explainable reason at that time. Eventually she was able to acknowledge that her fear of being unable to control her anger due to her past, was the reason she wouldn't be a doctor. She was fearful that her feelings, and her past, would come to haunt her, therefore; at 13 she was ready to give up on her dream to be the first in her family to finish high school, go to college and become "someone big and important". Once she let go of her fear and started to lay her past to rest, she begin to express her dream of being a doctor, not her fear of it!

As you evaluate your dreams, remember that fear contains and holds us. If you give in to your fear, you will be stagnated in learning your abilities and reaching your dreams. Picture it this way. You blow air into a balloon, the air in the balloon represents you and your dreams while the balloon represents your fears. The fear (balloon) is containing you (air), preventing you from escaping and becoming the best you. Now, place a few long pieces of tape on the balloon and use a needle to make a small prick in the balloon where the tape is (this actually works). You will notice that the air is seeping out of the balloon, rather than the balloon bursting. You are no longer being contained by your fears! With one small step, you are slowly becoming a better you!! Sometimes, we have to find the strength (tape) in us and move from your comfort zone and all it takes is a little motivation and push (needle stick).

The tag line of my private practice is: "New Vision Counseling Center: Offering a New Vision To Meet Your Life's Destiny". When we change how we see something, we are able to have a New Vision on what is destined for our lives, we can see how to reach our dreams! But first, we must move fear out of our sight! It can no longer be a Dream stopper, but now a Dream Maker!

Don't forget to leave a comment with your thoughts, your dreams and most importantly, how you will no longer be contained by your fears.

*Info in this blog is strictly my personal and/or professional opinion. Posts and comments are not intended to treat, diagnose or replace any medical advice you may have received. Please contact your doctor or therapist if you feel you need help, and in case of an emergency, dial 911.*

4 comments:

Shaketa said...

This speaks volumes to me. I have long had a fear of public speaking. The underlying fear is how others perceive me. I recognize this is an obstacle I must overcome in order to reach my full potential and fulfill my dreams of educating and empowering others. Thank You Kristy!

Kristy Christopher, NCC, LPC said...

Shaketa,

Thanks for responding. I am glad to hear that you are aware of the root of your fear. As was preparing for bed, I asked myself, "where does fear come from"? I thought about it and came up with several notions. Our past failures, our preceived inadequacies, other's experiences with a similar situation, what others think of us, and so on. In my opinion, the first step in ridding ourselves of fear is to acknowledge it, then acknowledge it's root! From there, we can take steps and find the strength to not be bound by it.
Thanks again for your valuable input.

Kristy

Jolene said...

You have got to post Jazmine Sullivan's song "Fear". Shaketa used it in her group. Fear is inevitable but not impossible to overcome.

Kristy Christopher, NCC, LPC said...

J'olene,

You are right. Fear is normal and "a part of being human", as Jazmine Sullivan put it. It only becomes abnormal when we allow it to freeze us, stop us from reaching our goals, or at least trying to reach them! Thanks for responding!

Kristy